by Les Kretman, NBC News producer, White House
YESTERDAY -- a Tuesday with a deep blue sky, one of those unusual Washington days without humidity. The President, new to the job, in office for just nine months was out of town in Florida. Just a week before the first State Dinner with Mexican President Vicente Fox. Mr. Bush was getting used to the ceremony of office.
TODAY -- a Tuesday with a gray overcast sky occasionally providing rain on a city which has gone through a summer drought.
YESTERDAY -- People running out of the White House - staff aides, cooks - administration officials - the press urgently moving toward across the street to Lafayette Park and then even further north.
TODAY -- the President wearing a dark black suit and a muted blue tie, with his Cabinet along with others who work at the White House standing on the South Lawn -- M marine band and navy chorus providing a somber "America," from sea to shining sea
YESTERDAY - - the horror of the day just beginning to reach Americans on their way to work --- to school or at home. The country had been attacked.
TODAY -- at exactly 8:45 a.m., military honor guard walked out of the Diplomatic Entrance followed right after by the President, First Lady, Vice-President Dick Cheney and Lynn Cheney. Silence and then bells tolling. Heads bowed... and the chorus sings "God Bless America" Then the slow walk back into the White House. For 2007, the ceremony had ended.